WASHINGTON — Anduril Industries said Friday it received a $1.48 billion funding boost, raising the value of the defense technology company to $8.48 billion.

Palmer Luckey, who helped design the virtual reality set Oculus Rift, opened Irvine, California-based Anduril in 2017. The company specializes in software development and artificial intelligence.

This latest funding increase — dubbed “Series E” — is credited with “nearly doubling the company’s previous valuation in June 2021,” the company said in a statement. Startup firms go through a series of funding, with what is generally the first or second round dubbed Series A.

Series A money is meant to help pay employees, optimize a startup’s products and develop a marketing strategy, according to the employment website Indeed. If a company survives a period of six months to two years with that early funding, it can then seek Series B funding, and so on.

“The new funding will enable Anduril to accelerate research and development to bring new, cutting edge, autonomous defense capabilities to the market and continue to mature and scale its current business lines with the U.S. Department of Defense as well as U.S. allies and partners,” the company said. “Anduril is building software-defined and hardware-enabled capabilities that solve mission needs with autonomy, today. Autonomous systems will enable the military to operate faster and at greater scale across both tactical and strategic operations.”

The funding was led by Valor Equity Partners, which previously invested in Anduril, with participation from Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, 8VC, Lux Capital, Thrive Capital, DFJ Growth, Elad Gil, Lachy Groom, Human Capital, Marlinspike, WCM Investment Management, MVP Ventures, Lightspeed Ventures and the US Innovative Technology Fund.

Anduril won a $1 billion contract in January from U.S. Special Operations Command to lead its counter-drone systems integration work. And it’s part of a team lead by American Rheinmetall Vehicles that’s competing to build a replacement for the U.S. Army’s Bradley infantry fighting vehicle.

Chris Martin is the managing editor for Defense News. His interests include Sino-U.S. affairs, cybersecurity, foreign policy and his yorkie Willow.

More In Industry